dcsimg

Read about online colleges for healthcare and the programs, degrees and training that may be available to students.

Online Health Degrees

Online degrees in health can help prepare students for a wide range of careers in the healthcare industry. These programs vary depending on the specific degree being pursued and the career path the student plans to enter. With an online healthcare degree, and the proper licensure, graduates may qualify to enter fields such as nursing, home health aid, dental assisting, healthcare administration or medical billing and coding.

Online Degrees in Health

Online healthcare schools typically provide students with the opportunity to complete their coursework remotely and on a schedule that fits their needs. As with campus-based studies, the curriculum content of an online program will depend on the degree being sought. In general, healthcare programs help students learn about the human body and medical science, preparing them for the specific tasks they'll approach in their future jobs. Due to the physical nature of health services, some degrees may only be available as hybrid programs, requiring students to complete hands-on training sessions in addition to their online coursework.

Healthcare programs remain popular because the healthcare industry is one of few that have continued to grow despite the economic recession. A 2012 Georgetown University study found that the healthcare industry should add 5.6 million new jobs by 2020, with nursing a particularly fast-growing profession. However, degree requirements for advancement in the healthcare field have also increased. While specific qualifications vary, many professions require that individuals pass state licensure or certification exams, particularly before practicing medicine.

Healthcare Degree Specializations

A number of different degrees and specializations fall under the umbrella category of healthcare. While physicians, surgeons and dentists all require doctoral level degrees that are generally not available online, students can train to become registered nurses, home health aides, physical therapists, medical assistants, occupational therapists, dental hygienists, massage therapists, or other healthcare professionals through online degree programs.

  • Associate Degree in Health - Generally completed in two years of full-time coursework, associate degrees are designed to quickly prepare students for an entry-level position in the healthcare field, such as cardiovascular technologist, dental hygienist, medical assisting, office billing and coding, and more. Coursework varies according to specific degree concentration. Some associate programs can be completed entirely online, while others may involve hands-on training sessions.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Health - Bachelor's degrees usually take four years of full-time study to complete. They're less often geared towards specific healthcare industry professions, but are considered the standard background required for careers like dietitian and nutritionist, occupational health and safety specialist, and recreational therapist. Bachelor's degrees in healthcare management or administration are available online as well.
  • Master's Degree in Health - A master's degree typically involves two years of additional study after a bachelor's degree is completed, and gives students more focused study in a particular field or profession. In the healthcare industry, a master's degree may help train students to become occupational therapists, physicians' assistants, and speech-language pathologists. As for online colleges for health, some master's degree in nursing programs or in healthcare management may be found available through online coursework.
  • Doctoral Degree in Health - A doctoral-level degree is required for many of the highest-paying careers in the healthcare industry. The time required to complete a doctorate program varies, but can be between three and six years beyond the completion of a bachelor's degree. At the doctoral level, online schools may offer degrees in healthcare administration or management, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Related Careers in Healthcare

Depending on their particular degree, graduates of online healthcare programs may consider entering a number of different career paths. Often, one degree can serve as a stepping stone, allowing a graduate to transition into a more specialized field later in their career. Related occupations might include:

  • Medical and Health Services Managers - Healthcare administrators oversee medical and health services at a wide range of facilities. According to BLS, they may manage a single department within a larger facility, like a hospital, or supervise an entire clinic or practice themselves. These professionals generally need a bachelor's degree in a field such as healthcare administration or public health, although master's degrees are common as well.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse - Also called Licensed Vocational Nurses, LPNs work with doctors and registered nurses to provide basic care to patients in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or private homes. To become an LPN, individuals must earn a nursing degree from an accredited program and pass the NCLEX state licensing exams.
  • Sonographer - These healthcare workers use imaging equipment to detect sound waves and form images of the inside of a patient's body, commonly known as ultrasounds or sonograms. Sonographers specialize in a particular part of the body, such as OB-GYN sonography or abdominal sonography. The job typically requires an associate degree, although one-year certificate programs can be an option for people who already have training in related healthcare fields.

Healthcare Industry Trends

Growth in the healthcare industry has remained strong despite the recession, thanks in part to an aging baby boomer population, longer life spans and people leading more active lives than in the past. Careers related to caring for the elderly, like nurses and home health aides may see job opportunities continue to increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012) projects especially large growth rates over the next decade for the following industries:

  • Medical and Health Services Managers - 22 percent nationwide from 2010 to 2020
  • Licensed Practical Nurses - 22 percent nationwide from 2010 to 2020
  • Sonographers - 44 percent nationwide from 2010 to 2020

Sources:
Dental Hygienists, Bureau of Labor Statistic Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm
"Healthcare Industry Will Create 5.6 Million More Jobs By 2020: Study," The Huffington Post, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/health-care-job-creation_n_1613479.html
Healthcare, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2009, http://cew.georgetown.edu/healthcare/
Healthcare Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistic Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm
Medical and Health Services Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistic Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            PhD - Addictions
            • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
            • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.S. in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
            • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
            • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
            • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
            • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
            • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
            • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.S. in Health Studies
            • Impact your world with a degree from Walden. Start today!
            • Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Click for more information.
            • Receive personal attention from advisors in enrollment, financial aid, academics, and other support services to make the most of your online program.
            • Study worry-free knowing you have 24/7 access to Walden technical support.
            • Convenient start dates throughout the year
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Vocational Nursing
            • Offers a free trial period so students can attend classes before paying tuition.
            • Provides blended courses that combine traditional classroom instruction with online learning.
            • Lets students connect with peers at any time, and instructors during office hours with online chat rooms.
            • Gives students the chance to participate in externships and clinical training work under the general supervision of college staff.
            • Has accelerated programs that allow students to take the same coursework in a shorter timeframe.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Anaheim
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Vocational Nursing
            • Offers medical and cosmetic programs, including dental assisting, massage therapy, cosmetology, esthetics, and more.
            • Features a public salon and spa where students may get real-world experience.
            • Offers scholarship opportunities for students wo qualify.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 separate Vacaville campuses, one is for medical careers and the other is the beauty academy.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Medical Assisting
            Good for Working Adults
            • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
            • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
            • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
            • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Medical Assistant
            • Features career programs in surgical technology, professional fitness trainer, vocational nursing, and an associate of science program in health administration.
            • Offers career assistance and advising services to students and graduates.
            • Campus is close to many attractions in Glendale, California, including the Los Angeles Zoo, Universal Studios, Alex Theater, and downtown Los Angeles.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
            • Part of the Success Education Colleges (SEC) group of schools.
               
            Show more [+]
            Certified Nurse Assistant
            Platt College , Alhambra
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Licensed Vocational Nurse
            • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
            • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
            • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
            • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits